Zaporizhzhia is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, with six reactors. In the midst of the Ukraine war, it has been subjected to shelling that has crippled its power supply. The last power line connecting the plant to the Ukraine grid was lost on Saturday. The nuclear plant is now only hooked up by one reserve line, which officials believe can handle the necessary tasks, although only one of its reactors is working. Both Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the shelling. The blame game will become irrelevant if the plant goes off line entirely – it could trigger another Chernobyl.
UPDATE: Zaporizhzhia nclear plant has been shut down entirely as a safety measure. Residents are encouraged to evacuate the area. Fox 9-11-2022.
“Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant again lost its connection to its last remaining main external power line, but continues to supply electricity to the grid through a reserve line, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday (Sep 3).
The agency also said, in a statement posted on its website, that only one of the station’s six reactors remained in operation.” 24Talk/Reuters
Russia has maintained control of the nuclear facility since early in the war. On September 1, the UN’s IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency- was deployed to visit the facility to inspect the damage and potential for problems. The IAEA team was delayed by shelling on the road. After inspecting the facility, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi assigned 8 to 12 IAEA inspectors to stay at the facility, and planned to make a permanent presence there.
” We have achieved something very important today and the important thing is the IAEA is staying here. Let the world know that the IAEA is staying at Zaporizhzhia.” Rafael Grossi, IAEA Director.
Not certain their presence at the nuclear plant will make much difference to either side in the war.
Nuclear plants must have electricity to keep the water around the nuclear cores cool. The IAEA said that the reserve line should be able to supply cooling as well as limited power to the grid, although Ukrainians were advised that power cuts would occur.
“As a result of another mortar shelling by Russian … forces at the site of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the emergency protection was activated and the operational fifth power unit was shut down… Power unit No. 6 continues to work in the energy system of Ukraine and is supplying electricity for the power plant’s own needs.” Energoatom, the Ukrainian agency in charge of the reactor.
Media reporters say they were unable to confirm exactly who did the shelling.
As Europe suffers from energy problems caused by Russian actions, many of the nations who planned to take their nuclear power plants off line due to the dangers of nuclear power are thinking better of it. Nuclear power is safe and effective…until it isn’t.
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